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Friday, March 25, 2016

Fun With the Kids: The Rennaissance Teddy Bear concert Series

My family is always looking for something fun to do with the kids! Lucky for us, we live in Ohio! There are so many things to do in this state! From parks and museums; to the Lake {We have some major #LakeErieLove in this family!}; to the events that are ideal for families!

Next weekend on April 3rd we will be heading to the Renaissance in historic downtown Mansfield to see a really adorable performance with Roo and Harper! They are so excited about the Teddy Bear Concert: The Emperors New Clothes. Let me tell you a little more about this performance and why you are going to want to head into Mansfield for the event!


This show is a part of the Mechanics Bank Education Series. It is the perfect way to introduce your kids to theater and live performances. This performance will feature a woodwind trio playing popular and classical selections along with an interactive puppet retelling of the Emperor's New Clothes with actors Maddie Beer and Colton Penwell. My kids are incredibly excited! 

The show begins at 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 3rd. Of course, doors open an hour before the start of the show. If you are worried about price, don't be! This show is incredibly affordable! Tickets start at $10. 

Have you ever taken your kids to a play? How did it go? We have taken Rolf to a few when he was a toddler. He did really well with sitting and watching! Harper has not been to the theater yet, but I anticipate that she is going to love the Teddy Bear Concert! 


Wednesday, March 23, 2016

How To Make Paw Print Cupcakes

My best friend, my original baby, my dog, turned 10 a few weeks ago! To celebrate the day we got both of the dogs their favorite treats! A plain burger from Wendy's and a kiddie sized vanilla frosty... {Don't judge... my kids feed them everything and this is simply the favorite people food among my dogs...} but I couldn't stop there. I am a mom of furry babies and human ones too! My kids get really psyched for a birthday! The dogs are no exception!

This year, my 5-year-old declared that we should "invite everyone over!" to celebrate this awesome day, the birthday of one of our dogs...

Considering half of the everyone he wanted to invite are several hours away from our house, I asked him if we could compromise and have a little party with just us. He looked skeptical... he asked, "What about balloons and presents mom?" I said "Well, Fritz {dog} doesn't really like toys anymore, he is kind of like... a grandpa among dogs. He likes to eat burgers and ice cream on his birthday."

My 5 year old frowned. He said "Can there be cake? No? Maybe grandma should come, she can bring cookies..." I laughed at this. Gotta give the kid credit, he wants a treat too! 

We could have made homemade cupcakes, but you know, I have kids! Time for cupcakes was not planned on that day. I turned to a box mix and a can of icing... no special recipe to mention here. 

But, I do have an idea for decorating any kind of cupcakes! This easy (and cheap!) decoration idea might just leave a paw print on the hearts and tummies of everyone you share one with!



You will need per 12 cupcakes:
36 Junior Mints (you will need 3 per cupcake)
12 mini York Peppermint Patties 

Directions:
Bake Cupcakes according to the package.
Allow to cool completely.
Frost the cupcakes.
Place the York Peppermint Miniatures
near the bottom edge of the cupcake.
Add 3 Junior Mints
to the top of the York Peppermint Patty to make the toes.

Now you have a delicious and minty addition to your cupcakes! This is my favorite cupcake decorating tip! It is so easy to make and they are fun! 

Please do not feed these Paw Print Cupcakes to your dog! Yes, I know I made these for the dogs birthday and I told you that the dog got his favorite people food treats for his birthday- but I truly do not like my dogs to eat a lot of people food. I know, I am a sweet mom and all but I seriously, between friends, I NAG at my kids every day about feeding the dogs. Also, your dog should never have chocolate as a treat. It is very dangerous for the health of any dog!

I hope you liked hearing about my best friends birthday and I hope that you liked our special cupcakes!

You might also enjoy this Snickerdoodle Bundt Cake Recipe!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Goodnight Kiss Cocktail Recipe

This post contains affiliate links, if you click a link, I could get a peanut! 

Gin is my favorite spirit to drink! I love the flavor that is reminiscent of a Christmas Tree; I love the warm and fuzzy feeling it always gives me! I love to mix it and create new cocktails. Every weekend I mix up something a little different from the weekend before and it dawned on me... why am I not sharing these awesome recipes with you guys?!

This weekend, I made something so fantastic that it earned a name within moments of consuming it! If you like a sour drink, you are going to love the Goodnight Kiss. This drink combines Sparkling Pink Lemonade , concentrated sweetened Lime Juice and gin to bring a delicious drink that will make you pucker up, just like you are ready for a Goodnight Kiss!




Ingredients:
2 shots of extra dry gin
1 ounce of sweetened lime juice concentrate
4 ounces of sparkling pink lemonade
2 orange slices
1 maraschino cherry
1/4 teaspoon of sugar
Ice

Directions:
Place ice to your liking in a glass.
Place the orange slices and maraschino cherry on the ice
Add sweetened lime juice
Add sugar
Give the drink a gentle stir
Add Sparkling Pink Lemonade
Add the gin

This drink is great. It is kind of like those sour then sweet candies for kids. The first few sips, your lips pucker from the lime juice. After a few sips, it becomes sweeter. {Likely from the gin taking hold!} It is a lot of fun to drink!




Do yourself a favor. Resist the urge to eat the fruit right away. Let it soak in some of the gin! After a few moments, eat the fruit for a delicious fruity booze treat! I usually wait until the drink is drunk to nibble the fruit, always saying "This is the way to enjoy gin..."

You might also enjoy this Boozy Slushie recipe!

What is your favorite way to drink gin?
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Best Blueberry Pie Recipe

I am going to make a confession to you guys today. I am borderline obsessed with baking pies. You guys probably already know how I feel about blueberries... yep an addict. I cannot get enough of them! It seemed only natural that I would share a favorite Blueberry Pie Recipe with you!

This pie comes together easily, especially if you use a premade pie crust. While I have a few unbelievable pie crust recipes, sometimes life with 2 little kids gets crazy busy. I take a helping hand where I can get it, and Pillsbury is always willing to shave a few moments off for me by producing lovely premade pie crusts!


Ingredients

  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon peel

Instructions


  1. Roll out one sheet pie crust to flatten. Fit into a 9-inch pie dish.
  2. In a medium saucepan combine 1 cup of the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until mixture is thickened and clear. Stir in butter; cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 cups blueberries and lemon peel.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Turn cooled filling into pie shell. Lay the remaining pie crust on a sheet of wax paper. Roll out to flatten. With a knife or pastry wheel cut pastry into 3/8-inch wide strips. Arrange in a criss-cross pattern on top of blueberries, pressing ends into the edges of the bottom crust and crimping to seal.
  4. Place pie on a baking sheet. Bake in the bottom third of oven until crust is golden and filling bubbles gently, about 30 minutes. Cool on rack.

What is your favorite kind of pie? I honestly don't have a favorite. I like them all!  I hope you enjoy this recipe for Blueberry Pie! If you make it, I would love for you to share a pic with me on facebook! Don't forget to check out some of my other recipes!
You might enjoy

Saturday, March 12, 2016

BBQ Sauce Recipe


I know we have a few weeks until spring is here, but you guys! I am so ready for afternoons in the sun, adventures with the kids at the park and most of all, I am ready for cook outs! I can't resist a good BBQ!

I have been putting great effort into watching what I eat. The winter has left me with a few extra pounds from being less than active... those couple pounds are on top of the few pounds I packed on over the holidays. Okay, fine, I admit it. I have gained 14 pounds since Thanksgiving....

I want to eat delicious foods. I don't want to miss out on Ribs or BBQ chicken from the grill over a few extra calories. I don't want to make it 15 pounds gained over a few extra calories either. Lucky for me I have an amazing BBQ sauce recipe to share with you that utilizes stevia instead of sugar. I think you are going to love it. It is really easy to make and everyone will be more than impressed with your BBQ Sauce!


BBQ Sauce

Ingredients
1 cup minced onion
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon spicy mustard
1 teaspoon chili powder
Dash dried basil
Dash dried oregano
1 six-ounce can tomato paste
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon SweetLeaf® Organic Stevia Sweetener
1 cup water

Directions
Simmer minced onion in extra virgin olive oil.

Whisk in sea salt, garlic, spicy mustard, chili powder, dried basil and oregano, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, SweetLeaf Organics and water.

Bring all of this to a low boil, cover and let simmer over low heat for 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool and jar. Voila, you are now a condiment connoisseur!

Have you ever made BBQ Sauce? I would love to hear about your recipe!


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Top Financial Tips For Familes

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Image: Pixabay


Parents up and down the globe regularly spend time organizing their finances. It’s a never ending job, and as such, can be a bit of a pain! From insurance to mortgages to bills, it all just feels like money money money, all the time.


Fortunately, help is at hand. If you’re looking for some more financial tips and advice, you’re in the right place. Below, you’ll find help on everything from savings to mortgages - and I hope this help is of use to you!


Cut out unnecessary expenditure


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Image: Flickr


Of course, there are some things you just need, like insurance and utility bills. However, there are some things you should cut back on! There are several ways to go about this:


  • One good way I’ve found over the years is to watch your food intake. Is there a particular meal that results in a lot of rubbish? Don’t buy that meal again!
  • Watch your internet usage. Do you even use it enough to warrant a package deal?
  • If you pay for expenses like child care, is there anything you can do to curb these? Can you swap shifts at work to look after your kids? Can you work from home?


Start a fund for your child - college and mortgages aren’t cheap!


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Image: Pixabay


Most people will do this anyway, but others won’t. Before you know it, college and mortgages will be upon you faster than a speeding bullet, and you’ll be unprepared! There are numerous ways to start a fund for your child, and each differs from the next.


Your first choice is to take out a life insurance policy for them. This lets you save up a small sum each month, in order to receive a big payout at the end of the term. This also covers your family in the event of death, so the benefits are twofold. There are plenty of places to get quotes so consider the pros your loved ones could receive.


There are also special bank accounts designed with college savings in mind. These are usually operated by the state and government, and are custom-built with college savings as their purpose. There’s tons of information on these from relaible sources , so don’t be left in the dark!


Overpay your mortgage


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Image: PicServer


Having a family to support is a long-term commitment. It lasts from when you have your children until they fly the nest, and as such, you have to think into the future. What if you or your partner loses their job? Could you still cope?


Fortunately, there is one great way to plan for any financially distressing times. If you overpay your mortgage while you have the cash, you create a ‘cushion’ of sorts that you can use as leverage. For example, if your partner does lose a job, you have technically already paid your mortgage payments for the next four months, so you can halt them.

Speak your mind! If you have any financial tips for families, drop a comment down below.

How To Remove Cat Urine From Carpet

There is nothing quite like the smell of cat pee on your carpet to really put a damper on the day. While we don't want to admit it, life with pets leads to a few messes here and there. Cat pee can be such a hard odor to get rid of, especially on carpet! It also seems that once your cat has an accident on the carpet, that spot is going to become a frequent place for future accidents if not treated.

My cat has had several accidents over the years. I have tried several methods to remove the odors and the germs! From specialty products sold in pet stores to natural remedies. I have had a variety of results as you can imagine. It seems that the products that work the best require the most work. Then one day, I had an idea and I tried it... Luckily it worked! I can't wait to share this easy DIY solution to pet odors that not only kills bacteria and germs but also has a pleasant smell!

Best of all- this is a DIY solution for pet odors like cat pee that will only cost you $2 to create. You may already have all of the supplies on hand for a frugal and fast fix to pet accidents!

The first step to take when your pet has an accident is to clean up as much of the urine as possible with paper towels. Blot it up as soon as possible until your paper towel is dry after blotting! This will make the job so much easier.

If you have a newspaper around lay it on top of the area where the accident occurred. The newspaper will absorb some of the odor.







Next, you need an empty spray bottle and mouthwash.

Pour mouthwash into your clean and empty spray bottle.


Simply spray this over the area that the accident occurred. Spray the area down until it is damp.



And there you have it. A simple DIY Cat Urine Remover that is super easy to make and use. The mouthwash will kill bacteria and leave a pleasant smell. As you can see I used mint, because that is what my local Dollar Tree had in stock.

How do you deal with the mess and smell when an accident happens? 


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Snickerdoodle Cake

Today I am sharing one of my favorite recipes with you. Usually, you bake a cake for a special occasion, but in the case of this recipe, the cake becomes the occasion! The recipe was inspired by a classic cookie that just about everyone loves and this cake is just as fantastic. Best of all, this Snickerdoodle Cake is easy to prepare from scratch!



This cake is gorgeous after baking and I always hesitate to cut it into slices for just about a nanosecond! But it smells divine and it has so much flavor that there is no way to not devour it! This picture does not do it justice, really! But, guys, this is the best I have for you as the cake was devoured in a flash! My husband could be heard groaning in delight. My children could not rest at the thought of this cake!

Ingredients for Snickerdoodle Cake
2 cups of white sugar
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 cup of butter flavored shortening {I used Crisco}
2 eggs
1 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Cake Topping Ingredients
2 tablespoons of white sugar
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon


Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Spray a cake pan (13x9 or a bundt pan) with cooking spray

In a medium sized bowl mix the flour, salt, cinammon and baking powder together, set aside

Cream together shortening and sugar until fluffy

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well

Add 1/3 of flour mixture and 1/3 a cup of milk, mixing well and repeating until all ingredients are combined

Pour cake batter into prepared pan

Combine the Cake Topping Ingredients and sprinkle over the batter 

Place in the preheated oven to bake for 35-40 minutes or until baked. 

This cake is incredible with or without frosting! I top it with my Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting. It is a huge hit with everyone that tastes it. The cake is kind of heavy, there is a simple and scrumptious flavor to it, and everyone will ask for your recipe!

What is your favorite kind of cake? I would love to hear about it in a comment!






Saturday, March 5, 2016

Blueberry Chia Breakfast Bowl

We all know Breakfast is a meal not to be missed, but come on guys! I cannot get excited about eating a bowl of cold cereal from a box for breakfast... now at snack time some cereal is my go-to, but for breakfast? Give me something healthy, delicious and it has to have some visual appeal too!

This Blueberry Chia Breakfast Bowl is the way to go for a start to your day that is almost too pretty to eat and that is so delicious you just might hop out of bed at the thought of it!



Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2/3 cup low fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds

Instructions

  1. In a blender or food processor combine blueberries, milk, maple syrup and banana; blend until smooth.
  2. Divide mixture among two serving bowls.  Stir in oatmeal and chia seeds.
  3. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to thicken.
Serve with your favorite yogurt and sprinkle with more blueberries
Number of servings (yield): 2

Have you ever had a breakfast bowl like this Blueberry Chia Breakfast Bowl? This one is nothing short of incredible. I love that it is packed full of fruit and oats and that it can even be made the night before for a super easy start to the day!

Thanks to my friends over at the Blueberry Council for inspiring this post!